DIY Product Photography

So you’ve got a product that you or your friend wants to sell. You need some good photos and you need them done right or at least better than most of your competitors, right?

Some individuals and companies will spend thousands on photographing products, and that’s fine if you have the budget. This can be truly unreasonable or unfeasible for the small business or person trying to get their products off of the ground and to potential customers’ eyes.

So here are a few tips for capturing some great shots of the products you want to sell without spending a fortune:

Clean Your Products

Nothing’s worse than having a dusty product full of fingerprint smudges in product catalogs. Clean it up before shooting!

Analyze the Scene

Take the time to make a great environment for the product to be displayed in. You’re going to want to block out background ‘noise’, meaning other items and things around that would distract from the attention of the item itself.

Sometimes this can be as easy as draping a blanket, sheet, or other type of linen as a background and base for the product to sit on.


Consider the colors. If your item is black, don’t use a black backdrop. If it’s white, don’t use a white backdrop. Make your item stand out. Consider using your yard for an outdoor product. You get the idea.


Next, take a look at your lighting.

You’re not going to want to use the built-in flash of your $100 camera; that flash will create glare and flat lighting, obvious signs of amateur photos.

Grab some lamps and put around some ambient lighting that won’t be shining directly on the item, but all over. Either put the light at an angle or put a piece of diffusing cloth (like a piece of thin, white cloth) over it. This will create a clear shot from most angles.

product photo

Product photo captured by Billal Shah

If you have lamps that are fairly direct, aim them high toward the ceiling. This will soften the feel of the light. Keeping adding or taking away light as needed.

Do some test shots to check before you really go at it. Once these things are in place, have fun taking shots from each and every angle that you, as a customer would want to see of the product.

These simple ideas should get you started to better product photography for your items.

About the Author:
By learning these fundamental and techniques in digital photography and flash photography, you’ll be confident to take any kind of photographs in any situation with any camera you currently have.

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  1. Brian says:

    A couple of other tips:

    1. For used items, don’t try to hide wear, scratches, etc. You don’t have to emphasize them, but the pictures should be honest about the item’s condition.

    2. Some items can be shown to best advantage being used, worn, or in a specific context if you can manage it. A hummingbird feeder and a hula hoop come to mind as examples.

  2. Asha says:

    Some more tips:

    1. Shoot outdoors in natural lighting, if you dont have the money to buy expensive equipment like lights and reflectors especially for cash-strapped startups.
    2. If you sell something quirky, try adding elements with your product. But make sure the background elements are not too loud, otherwise they take away focus from your product.
    3. Try keeping consistency in the background across all your product photos.

    You can read more at:

  3. vanessa says:

    What supplies were used in the picture frame diffusers? Thank you. I live in the U.S.

  4. Alex says:

    Cheap solution would be creating diy shadow boxes for taking photos of smaller objects. And try random angles before you decide on the best. Just make sure the background doesn’t clash with your object.

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